By Carol Longbottom from the Todmorden News
THE vision of a greener, brighter future for Todmorden took another step forward when Incredible Edible Todmorden was launched at a packed meeting last week. A new website, which will act as a networking site for everyone interested, was also launched at the event. And recipes are already being sought for a cookery book to be called Cooking Up The Future.
It was standing room only when Pam Warhurst and Mary Clear, the driving duo behind the new vision, spoke to the dozens of people who attended the meeting at The Old Co-Op Cafe.
“It was great to see so many people there,” said Pam, owner of The Old Co-Op Wholefoods. “But the most exciting part was when we stopped talking and the whole thing went whoosh! Everyone started talking to everyone else, swapping details and saying what they could offer the scheme.”
And that is what Incredible Edible Todmorden is all about – community involvement between schools, businesses and the wider community.
“Basically it’s not about strategy; it’s about action,” Pam told the meeting. “We want the whole of Todmorden to make a difference.
“At a time when government advisors are warning there isn’t enough food to feed everyone we’re already trying to find a solution. We’re going to be ready for it in Todmorden.
“We want it to be second nature for people to grow and cook their own food. We know we can make our future healthier and brighter.”
Mary Clear, of Todmorden In Bloom, said everyone had laughed at her when she first started planting her garden without walls, saying it would be wrecked by vandals, but she proved them wrong.
“And they laughed when we planted herbs at the railway station but they’ve been a great success and now Network Rail has given us permission to grow potatoes in the car park. But I don’t know anything about potatoes,” joked Mary, who invited those with gardening knowledge to share their expertise.
“We’ve planted blackcurrants in the town and now we want to plant apple trees and put herbs outside the butchers’ shops. All things are possible we just have to be willing to try them,” added Mary.
Helena Cook, also of Todmorden In Bloom, invited anyone with recipe ideas to get in touch through the website.
“There’s a community herb garden where people can just help themselves but many people don’t know what to do with them. So we’re collecting recipes for this cookbook, Cooking Up The Future.
“Anyone with any recipes can fill in the form on the website and send it in. All you have to do is say where you would find at least one of the ingredients in Todmorden, such as meat from the butchers.”
The idea for community involvement in food production started with Tony Mulgrew, Todmorden High School catering manager, who transformed the school menu when he started there six years ago.